Category school

Phineas and Ferb Science Lab

Science Lab Materials!

Pour milk in petri dish.

Add a drop of food color.

Add a drop of dishwasher soap.

Amelia's blue food coloring.

Amelia adds dishwasher soap.



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Student Led Conferences

Maddie was in charge of her very first Student Led Conference at school today. In year’s past, the elementary school had traditional Parent Teacher conferences but they have moved to SLCs into action across the school. Maddie was excited all week long and the night before she told us that she had to lay out an outfit that was “confident”. She called it her confidence outfit… jeans, T-Shirt, Justice boots!

We walked into class and she pulled out her folder that had her checklist of everything she was going to share. I have to admit that I half expected her to sit there and just show us stuff but she talked and talked and talked. We were supposed to be in there for 30 minutes and we talked for 45 minutes...

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Oh….Go Climb a Tree!

HA!  I had to laugh today when Maddie came home.  I went through her school folder and looked at the Maddie goodies that were sent home today.  Obviously, today was the day the counselor visited her class and talked about feelings… what to do when you get angry, etc…

Maddie’s idea was to go climb a tree if she ever got angry.

Keep in mind that my child has never climbed a tree, but she feels that this is a solution that can solve any anger issues she may have.  Note to self:  go find a tree to have Maddie climb.

AND whenever she gets ticked off at her sister, I am very simply going to tell her to “Go Climb a Tree!”

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So Long to the 09/10 School Year!

Maddie's First Day of School

Maddie is practically a veteran learner at this point!  It’s hard to believe that this is the 4th conclusion to a school year for her.  Ms. Preeti took great care of her in both PreK3 and PreK4, and Maddie has thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog posts from those days.  When she watches the video of the first time she wrote her name in PreK3 though all she can point out is that her “d” is backwards and her “i” looks like a “c”.

Maddie Studies Hard!

Maddie loved Kindergarten with Mrs. Howitt and eagerly looked forward to first grade this year.  First grade was a big leap for Ms...

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Maddie the Sneetch!

Maddie’s a Sneetch?  What you say?

Formerly, Ms. McMullin (aka Ms. McMuffin) who is now Mrs. Wild is Maddie’s music teacher and she wrote a play especially for the first graders in Maddie’s class based on a Dr. Seuss book.  For 30 minutes, the children were on stage and they were constantly MOVING!  Maddie was energetic, brave and smiling throughout the entire performance and new her cues very well!  If you would like to “listen” to the performance you can go here:

You can also visit Ms. Wild’s full site here:

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Family Literacy Night

familyDid you know that Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar is 40 years old?  To help celebrate, Maddie’s school held a Family Literacy event.  It started early in the afternoon for parents while the kids were still in school.  Parents gathered and learned about Digital Literacy, learned about reading to their children… it was good.

family1The best part was when the kids joined us in the library.  All of the parents and kids sat around in deep bean bags reading books.  They had guest readers for break out groups… it was really fun! Maddie glowed when her dad was the guest reader and Amelia actually stood still while he read! :)


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Maddie’s Holiday Concert

You know that when we start the holiday concerts at school that it means we are getting on an airplane soon!!  Maddie’s class practiced months for this show as every child had their own unique part.  Now I have to mention here that I actually forgot that it was concert day.  I was so proud of the fact that I remembered it was a PE day, had Maddie in tennis shoes and a school shirt.  Boy were we surprised when we walked in the school door and saw everybody in their finest!  Thankfully we managed to run home and put on our Xmas clothes for the concert! :)

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Shaking Spelling Up…

SANY0064Spelling – why can’t I remember spelling homework?  Of course I had spelling homework.  I just don’t remember having any!  For the tactile side of Maddie, she made her spelling words out of play dough… and not just any play dough but purple, sparkly play dough.  She’s so cool – and so zen in some of the pics!


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Maddie’s Spelling Words

I still can’t believe that Maddie has homework.  We do between 20 and 40 minutes of homework every night.  I don’t remember having homework so young but I guess that it’s just a sign of the times!

Maddie is studying the short vowel sounds right now and this week many of her spelling words had a short o sound.  She has to do a weekly project around her spelling words and this week we decided to shake things up a bit.  We found pictures on the internet and then pasted them into a Pages document.  Then we opened up Garageband and  :)Maddie recorded herself spelling each word. I made a quick movie of the Pages document in case you don’t all have a Mac!

Way to go Maddie Anna! :)

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Conflict Resolution Man

blog1Are all elementary schools this much fun?  I don’t know… I haven’t spent that much time in them but the bar has been set high for every elementary school we’ll encounter in our future!!!  Today Maddie attended this year’s second Conflict Resolution Assembly.  Sounds kind of boring, right?  Not a chance!!blog2

Maddie’s art teacher starred as Mr. Conflict Resolution man himself complete with the wig afro, pink sparkly cape and hot pink pants.  The 4th grade class, principals and several teachers performed on stage and sand their Conflict Resolution Man song for all.  And then the role-playing began…  Maddie’s PE teacher dressed the part of Dr. Disco who appeared on the right side of the blog3stage and appeared to be talking with Conflict Resolution man.  It was brilliant!  Dr...

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The Fall BBQ

blog1Our school seems to one up itself every year when it comes to the fall bbq.  This year it was about having even MORE bouncing slides and castles.  Thankfully, the girls could go as many time as they wanted to go!  I was impressed with how Amelia had no fear.  All of the older kids were trying to fly over her as they climbed up the ladder but she held her ground and made it to the top.  Now the first time she made it up to the top she wasn’t too sure about actually going down the slide.  Thankfully (?) she had her big sister to push her down the slide without giving Amelia that much time to think about it!!! Oh if you could have seen the look in Amelia’s eyes!!!!

We missed the county fair back home over the summer so this was a good compromise!  They both left smiling and exhausted -=...

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Maddie is a FIRST grader!

SANY0313No more Ks in her grade level anymore – this is the real deal!

Maddie had her first day of school as a first grader!  She has been waking up all week long asking immediately if she could go to school.  Of course, I let her go to school as we were working but no other kids were there so I think it lost its charm with her! :)SANY0315

Amelia helped Maddie choose her clothes and then she was out the door.  I was actually very impressed with Amelia’s attitude.  Bye JieJie was all she said and then was fine living her life! :)

Maddie met her teacher Mrs. Voge and put the things in her cubbie.  Maddie and Elaine actually have a history together but I think Maddie was just too young to remember...

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So Long to Kindergarten!

Author’s Note: Mom has been busy! She has been busy enjoying life and she has been a terrible blogger lately.  Now that we are back in Shanghai, we’ll do our best to catch up!  This is the first installment of what I hope is many….


It started as a PreK3 class and then it was a PreK4 class and then it was K this year! Maddie is officially moving into single digit numbers for her grade level.  Maddie absolutely adored her Kindergarten year in school.  It was everything that it was supposed to be for her.  Her teacher was wonderful with Maddie and always seemed to know what she needed from day to day.  Her classmates all got along and they formed some great bonds...

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Publishing Party – Last of 2008!

We are so proud of this child of ours!  I can’t believe what my baby girl can do…. she’s happy, she’s confident, she’s proud… WOW!  I mean, the girl just turned five.  This week Maddie had her final publishing party of 2008.  She authored a three page story.  The first page had her riding a horse.  The second page had the horse jumping up.  The third page had her giving that horse to a farmer…. how’s that for a beginning, middle and an end.

Please, please leave comments for Maddie on her blog.  She is very aware of the whole comment thing and would love to hear from you about her story.


PS: To see what Amelia is up to… click here! :)

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Maddie’s Holiday Concert

Maddie’s Holiday Concert was Today!  She was sooooo excited – it was hard to keep her still for a picture!!


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Cheers Maddie!

Roger, Maddie and Kate

Roger, Maddie and Kate

The special thing about Maddie and her school is that everybody knows her name. Seriously, there are 1200 students in Puondg k-12 and every single one of them know Maddie. Part of it is because of the nature of international schools. Expats create their own community and support each other by default. The other part of is… well, she’s my daughter AND she’s Andy’s daughter.

When Maddie when to the MS Play today with me, the kids in the play pulled her onto stage to pose for some pictures. Of course, the star of the show had to pose with her. it just so happens that the star of the show is also names Maddie.. though in typical middle school fashion she spells her name differently everyday according to her personality for the day...

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Publishing Party Renewed!

Several weeks ago, Maddie had her first publishing party and we’ve been looking at different ways to present the same material.  While we were in Bangkok, Maddie helped me make this glog below.  It’s cool because you can put your mouse over a picture and the picture gets big.  You can also listen to Maddie and her classmates talk about their first piece of work.  The long green blotches are actually players – just press the arrow (play) button and you’ll hear their infinite wisdom!

We also made an iMovie with of Maddie’s publishing party… this one was a bit more complicated! :)

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Maddie’s Publishing Party

We had Maddie’s Open House for Kindergarten on Thursday and then the very next day we were invited into school for Maddie’s first Publishing party.  I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such boundless energy from her!  We walked in the door and you she practically jumped out of her skin in excitement!  Take a look at her eyes in this picture…. can she be any more excited????

Her story and picture were priceless.  Maddie wrote her first sentence and she was so very proud.  She drew a picture of her bed and of the stuffed animals in her room.  In her sentence she talked about how I was there with her stars on her bed.  She was just so excited!

I loved seeing her confident and learning and confident and happy and confident…. life is the best! :)

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The Third First Day

How did this happen? My daughter is attending her third first day of school. She has been chomping at the bit for nearly three weeks to get back to school. A week ago she chose what she would be wearing. Two days before she packed most of her snack for the first day of school. The day before school started we snuck into school at 5:00pm so we could go to the board where the class lists were posted. Alas, Maddie found out that she was going to have Mrs. Howitt. Maddie already has a connection with Ms. Howitt (actually she has a connection with most of the teachers since we work in the school). But she has a special connection with Lynsey. When Lynsey had her baby boy, Ben, back in May, Maddie drew a Baby ben a picture and delivered it to him in the hospital when he was a day old.


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Organic Farm Field Trip


Before the May holiday, I took a day off of work so that I could accompany Maddie on a field trip to the local organic farm. I seriously was expected a small greenhouse for the kids, but what I foundcimg9438.JPG was acres and acres of greenhouses full of lots of yummy looking vegetables!

cimg9430.JPGMaddie and her 2nd grade reading buddy teamed up and spent the day taking care of each other. They started the day off getting educated about the gardening process. They gave each child three seeds that they could plant and then showed them what happened after 12 hours, 3 days, 6 days, and then 10 days. Maddie had just planted a bunch of seeds with Andy over the weekend so she was an old pro...

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